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Lutheran Aardvark

Confessional Lutheran theology, hagiography, philosophy, music, culture, sports, education, and whatever else is on the fevered mind of Orycteropus Afer

26 June 2005
  What's the Matter with Kansas?
Less than you might think.

In 1895, William Allen White bought himself a newspaper. In 1896, he made himself nationally known through an essay he wrote and published in The Emporia Gazette, asking, "What's the Matter with Kansas?" This brief piece, reprinted by the Republican Party and distributed throughout the midwest, pinned most of his state's political and economic woes on mindless, self-seeking populism.

These days, much of the rest of the country again asks, "What's the matter with Kansas?" Liberal elitists and believers in the religion of Science cannot believe that these rubes put into office a state Board of Education which refuses to rubber stamp Evolution as the sole teaching on origins allowed in the public schools.

While some think that special interests manufactured issues and introduced a Board at odds with the state's general views, today's Kansas City Star included an article referencing a new survey. The poll indicates that the Board of Education reflects the thinking of the electorate: "31 percent said it should require that theories other than evolution be offered; 24 percent said criticism of evolution should be allowed; 25 percent said only evolution should be taught; and 20 percent were not sure." Furthermore, "When asked which best described their view on the origin of life, 39 percent said creationism; 26 percent said evolution; 16 percent said intelligent design; and 19 percent said other."

Of course, pro-evolutionists have their own take. Liberal Board member Sue Gamble blamed the results on a populace that's been "woefully undereducated." What she fails to mention is that it was a godless curriculum put in place years ago that informed the thinking of a large number of those polled. We almost should be surprised that Creation (Intelligent Design, if you will) fared so well.

And while asking, "What's the matter with Kansas?" we should continue by asking, "What's the matter with the United States?" The Star article indicates that while not everyone believes in the Genesis account, a majority of Americans at least favor Creation being taught beside evolution. A March Gallup Poll is cited: It "asked Americans whether they would be upset if public schools in their communities taught creationism &mdash 'the idea that human beings were created by God in their present form and did not evolve from other species of animals.' A majority, 76 percent, said they would not be upset if creationism were taught in their schools, while 22 percent said they would be upset."

"What's the matter with Kansas?" If we look at the survey numbers, the state actually lags behind the nation in favoring a design- (and Designer-) based alternative to evolution being taught in the schools.

Ironic, isn't it: The Right (whether religious or political) is often accused of lock-step, fingers-in-the-ears fundamentalism. Yet it appears to be the Left which fears allowing its beliefs to be studied and compared through careful (dare I say, "scientific"?) examination. Are they afraid they'll lose what little faith they have?
 
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